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Dec 28, 2006 10:58 PM

best Singaporean foods

any body know a good Singaporean foods?

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  1. Langkawi in San Mateo.
    Layang Layang in San Jose.
    Jayakarta in Berkeley.

    If you've eaten and loved the food in Singapore, then you won't find anything closely resembling the real thing, but those places are at least decent approximations. There's no such thing as great Singaporean food around here.

    There are a number of restaurants which call themselves Singaporean / Malaysian and they serve tasty and enjoyable food, but they are nowhere near authentic.

    13 Replies
    1. re: Benny Choi

      Jayakarta, as the name suggests, is Indonesian. There have been some complaints here from people who went expecting Singapore / Malaysian food.

      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        you are right,Jayakarta is Indonesian,i've been there,and their food have different taste with Singaporean food.
        how about Straits at Westfield?

          1. re: headchily

            We've been to Straits once..several years ago. The dishes we had were on the sweet side in typical Americanized fashion. Haven't been back.

            Am still on the lookout for genuine Singaporean and Malay food in the Bay Area. We haven't been to any of the more highly-touted South Bay establishments.

            1. re: chilihead2006

              And Strait's has gone downhill from there.

              1. re: sgwood415

                that is because their beloved chef has opened shop elsewhere.. check out Lime Tree.

                1. re: Lori SF

                  I just went there last weekend with two discerning Malaysians, who went on a long tirade about the difference between Indonesian and Malaysian roti, which I couldn't hear because I was busy shoving food in my face. Generally thumbs up for everything, including the exceedingly friendly proprietors, with the one exception of the curry noodles.

                  1. re: Lori SF

                    A Singaporean foodie friend likes Lime Tree a lot, even though she seems to think it leans toward Indonesian. She also says the curries (but nothing else) at Penang Garden in Chinatown remind her of home.

            2. re: Robert Lauriston

              From what I understand, the "unofficial national dish" of Indonesia is boiled chicken and rice w/ different variations in spices and dipping sauces depending on which island or home you are on/in. In Singapore boiled chicken and rice is also a very popular dish but, w/ all the different cultures in Singapore what actually defines Singaporean food? The Chinese have the most influence obviously, but what about the Indian and the Europen influences? Anyone w/ insight? Can anyone tell me the names and describe some dishes that are "must haves"?

              1. re: adkim

                It's pretty complicated. There's Malay, Chinese, Nonya (Chinese-Malay fusion), Hindu Indian, and Muslim Indian. All of those have been influencing each other for generations, but are still somewhat distinct. The Malays' cuisine overlaps substantially with that of the culturally related Indonesians.

                At Singapore-Malaysian on Clement, my favorite dishes are roti canai (variation of Hindu Indian Malabar paratha), curry mee (Nonya), chow kway teo (Nonya), and rendang (Malay).

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                    Char kway teow is a Chinese dish, not Nonya.

                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                      >There's Malay, Chinese, Nonya (Chinese-Malay fusion), Hindu Indian, and Muslim Indian<

                      Several years ago I went to Straits in SF with a friend from Malasia. I can't remember the conversation exactly, but she said that the word "Strait" or "Straits" actually referred to a specific cultural and food combination over there.

              2. Haven't been back to Prima Taste since it first opened, but here's Stanfordfoodie's post on it.
                Somewhat limited strengths, however, it might have what you're seeking.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Melanie Wong

                  I think you've about got it right -- limited strengths. Prima Taste sells pre-mixed rempahs and other spice mixes, which are decent but certainly not as good as freshly made.

                  Banana Leaf in Milpitas is good, but it's mostly Malaysian, and on the sweet side. Wasn't impressed with Banyan Tree, but only tried a couple of of dishes.

                  My wife and I both like Shiok (sp?) in Menlo Park a lot. Haven't tried Old Town Singapore Cafe yet -- thanks for the pointer, dolcetto.

                  To me, the best aspect of Singaporean eating is the hawker food, but the it takes a lot of work to prepare. Unfortunately, it's getting harder to find good hawker food even in Singapore -- the tastiest is now at high-end hotel buffets! But that's a different story, and a bit astray for SF Bay Board.

                2. I like Banyan Tree (formerly Banyan Garden) in Union City. Best I've had in the Bay Area. See my post on it here:

                  Also, that thread is a long post on Singaporean/Malaysian restaurants.

                  I've been wanting to try Prima Taste, too.


                  1. thanks hounds,
                    I'll try one by one maybe
                    Until I found the best
                    wish me luck

                    1. try Straits with special request,I tried once, It's work for me

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: ratherdiethanread

                        Last Saturday I tried Straits's Laksa and that was a special request because it doesn't on their menu and I love it,so make a special request.